Hatchet: Gary Paulsen


“Without the hatchet he had nothing – no fire, no tools, no weapons – he was nothing. The hatchet was, had been him.”

I have passed “Hatchet” on the shelves since I was young without ever picking it up. There are so many junior fiction books that you were supposed to read, or wanted to read, but then you reach adulthood and wonder what happened? My boyfriend gave me the final push to pick this one up by mentioning repeatedly that it was his favorite when he was younger. I knew I needed to check it out if it could capture his attention and I was not disappointed. Although this is geared to a much younger audience I wasn’t bored, even when I could predict the trials Brian would face. Brian is the lone survivor of a plane crash and is left to survive for what he believes will be three or four days with only the hatchet his mother gifted him before the flight. In the fifty-four day adventure he is challenged to find food, build a fire, face a tornado and build a raft. He comes face to face with a bear, a moose and essentially becomes one with nature. I think this is a classic for everyone. Paulsen’s writing really captured the essence of the wild. So instead of relying on reality TV shows for your wild fix, read this book or better yet, go take a hike. 

Ps. I did some serious research on moose after this. Who knew?

Happy Reading! 


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